Celtics’ future as promising as it is tenuous after first-round bounce

The Boston Celtics’ season came to end with a loss to the Atlanta Hawks Thursday night, and a big offseason awaits. Quickly, let;s reflect on the year that was and what Boston can do to not be at such a talent deficit come next season.

Coming into this season, the Celtics were the darling of the purely quantitative predictions, which pegged them for 50 or more wins. Analysts were far more skeptical. Boston landed in the middle. They weren’t a top team in the league, even when they flirted with a top-two seed early on, but they were a consistently competitive team, even against the league’s elite. They were smart and tough, total hustle junkies. They poured their effort out every night, and found ways to win with an underwhelming arsenal.

At times they looked like they could hang with anyone. In two matchups with the Warriors, Boston beat the champs and took them to double overtime. They also hung right with the Cavaliers and generally battled admirably against top teams.

But they never felt on that same level, and eventually settled into a fairly mediocre team, as a first-round bounce would sufficiently indicate. There was some hope that the Celtics could make a playoff run after they won Games 3 and 4 against Atlanta to even the series. Given the

Article source: http://www.cbssports.com/nba/eye-on-basketball/25570729/celtics-future-as-promising-as-it-is-tenuous-after-first-round-bounce

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